What can I say? An event of this magnitude hopefully only occurs once in a lifetime. With so many lives lost, our country will struggle to deal with the scale of this terrible event.
The damage to buildings and loss of the local economy will also be hard. In the next few weeks, it will be hard for Christchurch people not to become depressed, and many residents were already suffering stress from the continuing aftershocks.
My thoughts are with all of you living in Christchurch, and I urge those of you who live elsewhere to do whatever you can to aid the recovery - once the earthquake is out of the news, people will still need the support of their friends. Write, phone if you can, send a small gift now and then or if you are in a position to, please donate to the earthquake appeal.
One area that has been swamped is the neonatal unit, so consider making some tiny vests and beanies for the really little ones who arrived early because of the earthquake. It's been quite cold overnight since the quake, so they will be appreciated. Many families will have lost all their clothing, so donations of clothing will be needed later in the year.
But right now the most meaningful thing most people can do is drop their change into the donation boxes at supermarkets - that will really make a difference.
Kate is a semi-retired photographer and craft dyer who lives in Southland, New Zealand.